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Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen
Summary Chapters 43–45
Summary Chapters 43–45

The arrival of Darcy himself further encourages Elizabeth’s change of heart. Humbled by her rejection of his marriage proposal, Darcy has altered his conduct toward her and become a perfect gentleman. This courteous behavior both illustrates his love for her and compels the growth of her estimation of him. His ability to overcome his pride in much the same way that Elizabeth overcomes her prejudice gives Elizabeth and the reader hope that her rejection of him has not caused him to give up and that he may propose again under different terms.

The reader meets Georgiana Darcy for the first time in these chapters. Previously, she has been described as a possible wife for Mr. Bingley because of her beauty and accomplishments. In person, however, she is painfully shy; as a result, the reader ceases to see her as a threat to Jane. She cuts a very different figure—and one with whom the reader can sympathize—from the overeager Miss Bingley, whose aggressive pursuit of Darcy highlights her obnoxiousness. Indeed, Miss Bingley reappears with more spite than before. The mean-spiritedness behind her derisive insinuation about the Bennet girls’ unladylike obsession with the soldiers contrasts with Elizabeth’s thoughtful protection of the vulnerable Georgiana.